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State Representative Linda Slocum

207 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7158

For more information contact: Tyler Blackmon 651-296-8826

Posted: 2017-03-16
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - 03/16/2017


Dear Neighbor,

Our first committee deadline has passed and we are into another week as the second deadline draws near on Friday. Here is an update from the Capitol:


HF5 vs MinnesotaCare Buy-In

On Monday, the House passed a Republican reinsurance plan that will favor insurance companies over the health of Minnesotans. House File 5 creates a program to subsidize insurance companies. The measure establishes an 11 member board to administer the program – with a majority of board members representing insurance companies – to backfill the cost of large health care claims. The program would be funded by the Health Care Access Fund, which currently funds MinnesotaCare. The Republican author also said he doesn’t know the impact of their bill, meaning a nearly $400 million giveaway to insurance companies with no guarantee it will reduce premiums, stabilize the market, or increase access for Minnesotans.

House Democrats have a more affordable option to provide health care coverage to a greater number of Minnesotans by allowing the public to ‘buy-in’ to MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare is the successful plan that has existed in Minnesota for 25 years. The buy-in would provide more affordable choices for an additional 100,000 Minnesotans who are currently in the individual market. Participants' premiums would cover the entire cost of their policies, meaning there would be no ongoing cost to taxpayers.

Those living outside the Twin Cities Metro would have access to a broad network of physicians and care providers available through MinnesotaCare. This would give families more choice in selecting their health care providers – instead of the narrow network currently available.

I am encouraging Republican leaders to give our bill a hearing in the House; it’s our job as legislators to provide Minnesotans choices and options to improve their health and I’m committed to doing so.


Committee Deadlines

This Friday at midnight marks the second of three legislative committee deadlines that House and Senate leaders establish annually to help narrow the number of bills receiving final action.

The second deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house; meaning the bills that survived the first deadline in the House must be heard in the Senate and vice versa.

The third deadline is set for Friday, March 31 for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills.

Deadlines do not apply to the introduction of bills. Several finance bills are not subject to the committee deadline rule. Under some circumstances, committees in either house can hear a bill that didn’t meet the deadlines.


Supplemental Budget and Targets

On February 28, the budget forecast was released. Governor Dayton is putting the finishing touches on his supplemental budget with the details expected sometime this week.

Budget targets have yet to be announced by the House majority. Targets are the final piece of information committee chairs need to continue assembling their budgets.


As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Rep. Linda Slocum

 

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